It’s appalling to see a minister of government and attorney-at-law so fixated on homosexuals, and so certain, that he makes not only ludicrous, but unintelligent accusations at the Jamaica Constabulary Force and gay people. He also proved that he is unsuitable to hold his office as a minister of government. In truth, I hope he speaks only for his own personal lack of sensibility, and not as a minister of government using his own prejudices to seek public support.
Indeed, Jamaicans don’t live in a theocracy – yet. It’s none of Smith’s business what sexual shenanigans anybody gets up to in their private lives as long as this doesn’t hurt anyone else. The root cause of the anti-homosexual agitators is simple personal distaste. And personal distaste is not of itself a good reason for making anything illegal.
There is something pathetic about people who pore over history books or legislation seeking support for their prejudices. Doesn’t Smith have anything better to do, like getting the roads in St Ann fixed? Helping to create better opportunities for people in his constituency? Proposing measures to lower the murder rate?
Times and customs
After all, the legislations of 3,000 years ago are not always justifiable today in the civilised world. All ancient holy books (including the Old Testament) report the ancient gods or God’s approval of slavery, rape, racism, sexism and mass slaughter. But times and customs have changed.
It is evident by Smith’s utterance, that he rejects civilised standards of tolerance, and wants discrimination to be allowed as long as it’s justifiable. Indeed, two generations ago discrimination against blacks was justifiable in the United States, South Africa, and half the nations of Europe.
The ruling classes decreed that it was not natural for blacks and whites to eat together, sleep together or sit next to each other on the buses. The governments of those places despised blacks, gays, liberals and outside agitators. Today the Governments have changed; but many of their people haven’t changed their prejudices – and have even added some to the list.
As racism was eroded other prejudices slipped into its place. Prejudice is as prejudice does. This discrimination that Ernest Smith would want to see perpetuated is a very risky enterprise because it confirms Jamaica’s steady retreat from the Articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights specifically forbidding discrimination against minority groups, either explicitly or implicitly.
I am, etc.,